Kinship Care Practice Framework Project
This is a joint project between the University of Melbourne and OzChild, a non-government organization that provides services for some of Victoria’s most disadvantaged children and their families. OzChild also provides support for kinship care placements, offered to over 130 families across areas of Victoria.
Within this project, researchers from the University of Melbourne and senior practitioners and practice researchers from OzChild came together to create a kinship care practice framework to support good practice with kinship carers. Collaborative efforts supporting the implementation of the framework are ongoing.
The framework is discussed in the following article, the abstract for which appears below:
Connolly, M., Kiraly, M., McCrae, L. & Mitchell, G. (2016) A kinship care practice framework: Using a life course approach. British Journal of Social Work, Advance Access published May 9, 2016, DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcw041
In recent years, kinship care has become a major contributor to the delivery of out-of home care services in most Western jurisdictions. Over time, statutory kinship care has been modelled on the more established foster-care system. Yet the particular nature of kinship care differs from stranger care arrangements in important ways. This often results in kinship carers and their children being disadvantaged and poorly responded to within foster-care-dominated systems. This article discusses the development of a kinship care practice framework that responds to the particular needs of kith and kin carers and the children they care for within statutory systems of care, and which also takes into account the particular complexities of kinship care practice. Recognising that kinship carers come to the role at different ages, from siblings, aunts and uncles, as well as grandparents, the framework takes a life course approach that responds to both the generic and age-specific needs of the carer. Life course issues and challenges are considered across four domains supporting practice that is: child-centred; relationship-supportive; family and culturally responsive; and system-focused.